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Shirley Temple
Shirley Jane Temple

(1928-04-23)April 23, 1928
Died February 10, 2014(2014-02-10) (aged 85)
Cause of death COPD and pneumonia
Other names Shirley Temple Black
Years active 1932–1963
Spouse(s) John Agar (m. 1945–1950, divorced, 1 child)
Charles Alden Black (m. 1950–2005, his death, 2 children)
Children Linda Susan Agar (b. 1948)
Charles Black Jr (b. 1952)
Lori Black (b. 1954)
Shirley Temple Black autograph.JPG

Shirley Temple, or Shirley Temple Black (April 23, 1928 - February 10, 2014) was an American actress and television series hostess. Temple has the distinction of being the first Academy Juvenile Award recipient in 1934.

Early years

Shirley Jane Temple was born on April 23, 1928 at Santa Monica Hospital (now UCLA Medical Center) in Santa Monica, California, the third child of homemaker Gertrude Temple and bank employee George Temple. The family was of Dutch, English, and German ancestry. She had two brothers: John and George, Jr. The family moved to Brentwood, Los Angeles.

Temple's mother encouraged her to develop her singing, dancing, and acting talents. At about this time, her mother began styling Temple's hair in ringlets.

Acting career


Shirleytemple young
Temple in Glad Rags to Riches, 1933

Temple began her movie career at age 3 in a series of Poverty Row shorts starring very young children clad in diapers. In 1934, she soared to superstardom in Bright Eyes. Other movies followed that exploited her waiflike charm and abundant talent such as Curly Top, The Little Colonel, Dimples, Wee Willie Winkie, and The Little Princess.

The public adored the child Temple, but her popularity declined as she grew into a young woman. She made several bombs in her teens, but three have become highly regarded classics: Since You Went Away, Fort Apache with Henry Fonda and John Wayne, and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Temple married John Agar in 1945. In 1950 she married Charles Black and retired from the movie industry at age 22.


Marriage and motherhood occupied Temple in the following years, but she returned to show biz in the late 1950s with the television series, Shirley Temple's Storybook for NBC. The series was child/family-oriented with dramatizations of fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, children's stories like Pippi Longstocking, and more mature fare like The House of Seven Gables and Victor Herbert's Broadway musical, Babes in Toyland. Celebrity stars like Charlton Heston, Tor Johnson, Sterling Holloway, Elsa Lanchester, and Agnes Moorehead appeared in the series. The series was nominated for an Emmy Award in children's programming. It faced stiff competition from other networks, and left the air after two seasons.


Temple became active in the Republican Party in California. Temple was extensively involved with the Commonwealth Club of California, a public-affairs forum in San Francisco. She spoke at several of the meetings through the years and served as its president in 1984.

Temple was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon (September – December 1969), and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford. She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball. She served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush.

Illness and death

Temple had breast cancer in the early 1970s and had a mastectomy. She died on February 10, 2014 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia at her Woodside, California home, at the age of 85.

Interesting facts about Shirley Temple

NPG 94 48 Temple (cropped)
Temple in 1938
  • A rumor about Temple's trademark hair was that she wore a wig. On multiple occasions, fans yanked her hair to test the rumor. She later said she wished all she had to do was wear a wig. The nightly process she endured in the setting of her curls was tedious and grueling, with weekly vinegar rinses that stung her eyes.
  • Bright Eyes included the song "On the Good Ship Lollipop", which is considered to be Temple's signature song
  • As a child actor, Temple wore dental plates and caps to hide the gaps in her teeth.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt praised her performances, saying, "It is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles."

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shirley Temple para niños

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